[en] The aim of this study was to determine cardiac contractility using indices derived from cardiac catheterisation in conscious healthy dogs during dobutamine infusion. Eight dogs were studied. An ECG was recorded together with left ventricular pressure and volume which were measured using a conductance catheter with an integrated microtip pressure sensor. Eight indices of left ventricular systolic performance were derived from these records. Measurements were realised under basal conditions and during an incremental dobutamine challenge. The maximal rate of rise in ventricular pressure (max dP/dt), max dP/dt divided by the developed pressure and the mean systolic ejection rate were the most sensitive indices to detect dobutamine induced changes in contractility with maximal percentage changes of 122+/-11 per cent, 130+/-7 per cent and 102+/-24 per cent respectively. Ejection fraction increased significantly during dobutamine infusion (maximal percentage change of 43+/-9 per cent) whereas the pre-ejection period (PEP) and the left ventricular ejection time (LVET) decreased significantly (maximal percentage change of -41+/-2 per cent and -28+/-3 per cent respectively). All these six indices were significantly correlated with each other. Conversely, the ratio PEP/LVET and the LVET corrected for heart rate dependency showed a maximal percentage change of only -10+/-1 per cent and -16+/-7 per cent, respectively, during the dobutamine infusion and were not significantly correlated with the other contractility indices. This study demonstrated the feasibility of the conductance method to determine cardiac contractility in conscious healthy dogs submitted to a pharmacological stress testing and provides control values for eight indices of left ventricular contractility during dobutamine infusion at increasing dosages.